Before I start, let us be certain that this article is in no way contradictory to the earlier article Gaming is not Parenting . In less than 2 weeks I have personally observed the impact of having another tower so our family can start gaming together. A plan we had in mind for quite a while but once we started playing Diablo 3 we just knew that this was the year to move our family room one objective closer to our entertainment room goal.
Unlike allowing television, internet or gaming to teach/babysit children this has allowed a better control on how they (the munchkins in question) respond to gaming. Making sure they don’t get angry over a game or take anything too personal. In case they say something that is inappropriate but not rude you are there to steer their thinking in the correct direction. Now add in instances where you make sure the child has the toughest toon and you, as the authority figure in their eyes, run a DPS support toon. Meaning they are protecting you. You have to call to them for help. They need to rezz you. And in my Diablo 3 wizzy case – I needed rezzed a LOT. Behaviors have changed, attitudes improved and now it is far easier to gauge how they are responding to new responsibilities and punishments.
The beauty of this discovery is not actually new at all. Some of us actually grew up with gaming in our lives. Risk, Axis & Allies, D&D, monopoly just to name a few. Heck my mother and I still get into a nasty scrabble game that onlookers instantly realize that this is going to be a two person only game. Family activities that do not denigrate cohesion have always been proven to be amazing in the long plan. It could be camping, cooking, family trips, movie night, shopping trips or whatever. But take into account fibromyalgia, arthritis and several other diseases it can limit your choices on what to do to create a family bond.
Being a parent is tough in the 2000’s. Technology is now a crucial part of everyday life. But even a one income household can upgrade their fun with some patience. Every six months it seems the prices drop just a little more on a system here and there. It doesn’t take long to have a suitable flat screen TV, a nice monitor, three towers, a console and a kindle fire. Ditch some expensive 500+ channel of nothing to watch TV and you can afford that and a router that can handle 3 gamers, a kindle fire gamer and a movie running via Netflix.
So the point? If you are scratching your head on how to get connected with your kids today then think about converting a room into your family entertainment room. A simple bed sheet with a wall projector can make a movie night spectacular. A game that everyone enjoys will add in hours of laughter with almost no sibling rivalry or fighting. Almost but not quite. Kids are kids and siblings fight. But now instead of confrontations due to cabin fever you can destroy large quantities of electronic foes as a team. Allowing the younger to be the heroes.
Just a thought.
Until next time. Game on!